Study protocol for the school-based health intervention “InCharge”

Published on February 2, 2021 – During adolescence, young people often develop unhealthy lifestyles including behaviors such as alcohol use, consumption of unhealthy snacks, and insufficient physical exercise. To discourage these unhealthy behaviors, school-based health intervention are implemented at schools. However, research shows that effects of school-based health interventions are inconsistent. Therefore, a recent study of Mesman and colleagues describes the study protocol for a newly-developed health intervention.

The goal of the research is to determine the effectiveness of the health program. Doing so, researchers for example investigate the role of interpersonal communication about the health program and health behaviors (alcohol use, snack intake, and exercise behavior), and the extent to which the implemented version of the intervention matched with how the program was intended by its designers.

The school-based health intervention “InCharge” is developed by the Trimbos Institute, the Netherlands Institute for Mental Health and Addiction. The goal of InCharge is to promote healthier lifestyles among adolescents. While developing the program, designers based their prevention strategies on the developmental characteristics of the age group. For example, an important part of the program is training self-regulation, a strategy that has been proven effective in adolescents by earlier studies.

For more information:

Mesman, M., Onrust, S., Verkerk, R., Hendriks, H., & Van den Putte, B. (2020). Effectiveness of the InCharge prevention program to promote healthier lifestyles: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Research Protocols, 9, e17702.

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